July 31, 2006
Bye, Bye Bledisloe.
Well, they came, they saw, they defended brilliantly, and the All Blacks walked away with the silverware. Well done. The Wallabies threw plenty at them but the All Blacks turned up to stop every advance - especially Ritchie McCaw. How good is he? He had no right to make some of the tackles he made, or even to be in the places he turned up in ... put daylight between him and George Smith, who was only sighted when he gave away penalties.
Speaking of which, I'm wondering whether the hair-pulling thing is one reason why George wasn't more aggressive at the breakdown. The commentators said it over and over, and it's true, the Wallabies lost the game by being too tentative in the front row and at the breakdown. I'd love to see a stat on how many times a Wallabies runner was tackled and Gerry Collins and Ritchie MCaw were at the tackle before ANY Wallabies forward ... I bet it's an unpleasant number. But, confidence can build that they held their own and will get better ...
Gerry should probably be suspended for the hair-pulling, which is totally against the spirit of the game. Infantile, in fact.
But the bottom line is the All Blacks defence was just too good and one brain-snap in defence from Rocky Elsom was enough for them to take away the silverware. Well done, boys. Seeya in Aukland ...Posted by Hughie at July 31, 2006 9:57 AM